November 12, 2012

Acer C7 Chromebook Arrives

Google will begin selling another Chromebook Tuesday as it seeks to get more to buy into its model of cloud-based computing.

The newest Chromebook is built by Acer and will sell on Google Play for $199. It has an 11.6-inch display, keyboard and clickable trackpad. However, it gets much less battery life than a Samsung model also available from Google. The Acer Chromebook has 3.5 hours of promised battery life, compared to the 6.5 hours from the Samsung Chromebook. It does have substantially larger hard drive space than the Samsung edition, with 320GB offered along with 100GB of free storage in Google Drive for two years. However, given that the Chrome OS is designed primarily to work with the cloud, this does seem like an overkill in the amount of space here.

Google is both making a larger push with its Chromebooks while also retooling its message slightly. With its latest campaign Google is marketing Chromebooks as the computer “for everyone,” meaning it can function as a secondary machine for individuals and families who want to surf the Internet, watch videos or make use of Google-powered¬†productivity¬†tools. The company has backed off from some of its rhetoric that it would be a full-blown competitor to OS X or Windows.

The space for low-cost computers used to be the domain of the netbook, which has practically disappeared with the emergence of more powerful ultrabooks that are just as light yet properly run a full version of Windows. Chromebooks have many of the specs of netbooks, but are running a far less power-intensive operating system.

The market will decide if there is room among people’s arsenal of gadgetry for a device such as a Chromebook. It has its merits: very inexpensive, fairly user-friendly, and no worries of lost data if it takes a tumble off a kitchen table.

On the other hand, this model of computing will only work for those willing to invest in the Google ecosystem. It works very well. as I find switching screens between the Chrome browser on different computers and an Android phone give me the feeling like everything is easily within reach. However, that comes with another set of issues: just ask David Petraeus.

Image Credit: Google Chrome

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